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Thursday, February 07, 2019

Lucha Worth Watching: Heavyweight Cibernetico! Sangre Azteca Stomps Balls!

Kraneo/Valiente/Rush/Volcano/Blue Panther Jr./Diamante Azul vs. Shocker/Rey Bucanero/Terrible/Gran Guerrero/Euforia/Ultimo Guerrero  CMLL 10/9/18

ER: This was a match I didn't really know I wanted until it was right in front of me. A 12 man cibernetico with heavyweights, not a fliers showcase, but a fun heavyweight spotfest. Rush is the fun monkeywrench in this whole thing, and while the teams are divided into tecnicos and rudos, there are still teammates that hate each other and everyone is mostly out for their own interests. Plus it was a good chance for some guys like Shocker and Rey Bucanero to show they can still go in the right situation. Bucanero is going for 2002 status here which is a shock since I saw him live a few months ago and he never moved faster than walking speed. Here he hits the somersault senton, takes a classic Bucanero bump over the top to the floor, gets nailed with a dive, clearly looked like he was working hard here for whatever reason. And everybody was. I'm not sure what will make a bunch of guys in CMLL suddenly make the decision to work hard in a random match, but this whole thing felt spirited, guys worked snug, made the match feel more important than it likely was. We get a lot of Kraneo and a lot of Volcano, and let's just talk about how silly it is to have the two largest guys in the fed (largest guys in lucha) both on the tecnicos side. We need one of the big guys to be rudo and we can then build to a Clash of the Titans. Kraneo is great but was better as a rudo, but also way over as a tecnico, so I get keeping him where he is. I think Volcano and his modern take on Roadblock's gear (his Caltrans vest highlighter and weird brown back brace) look pretty doofy, but maybe working rudo would open him up a bit. Panther Jr. turns in a nice tecnico performance here, Valiente hits a big dive, Terrible don't care who his partners are for the match, he's still gonna stomp out his enemies, Azul gets his class Mexico mask shredded, whole thing was fun. Ciberneticos feel like more of a thing I wanted when I first started watching lucha, but this unexpectedly delivered. Less spots than your typical ciber, but more character and tight work. That's a good trade.

Sangre Azteca/Metalico/Nitro vs. Oro Jr./Star Jr./Retro CMLL 1/15/19

ER: Stiff work and plenty of shtick will almost always win me over, and this undercard gem easily won me over with both. Rudos worked stiff and tecnicos bumped big, and this thing didn't need any dives to make it a ton of fun. Azteca was a real standout and he's a guy I've always really liked, someone whom I assume there must be backstage reasons that he's never been moved up the card before, because he's been great as long as I've been aware of him. He makes it his mission in this match to stomp all over the tecnicos butts, balls, and loins, and succeeding in his mission. At least once a match he usually throws his big high angle dropkick right to the balls (do we not do faultas anymore?) while an opponent is seated in the corner or being held spread eagle...well, here he does that like 7 or 8 times, flying into the corner with precision shots, teasing doing one from the middle rope but then climbing to the TOP rope to drop straight down like Slim Pickens riding a missile to straight to tender tecnico loins. He even kicks the middle rope as Retro is climbing back in the ring, the lucha equivalent of the turkey tap. Nitro gets in on the action, dropping a great elbow drop off the middle rope. Metalico was Metalico, and I love Metalico, so he was taking pratfalls and throwing nice big hooking lariats (Oro Jr. took four lariats in a row, really throwing himself back and landing on his shoulders with gusto), and bailing on the tercera by ripping off a mask rather then suffer a pinfall defeat. Oro Jr. had a really nice performance for a tecnico I don't often notice, I was really impressed with how he ran into rudo strikes. Star Jr. is kind of like Soberano Jr. but with floppier limbs, but he still snapped off a really cool headscissors that was like a cross between a smooth lucha headscissors and a Marty Jannetty one. Retro appears to be working a 70 year old Mil Mascaras gimmick, but his shoulderblock hits snug enough and he leans jaw first into a low Nitro dropkick, and those are a couple things that will at least get you into the 490s of a 500. This match scratched a nice lucha itch for me. A match that might seem inconsequential, but having something like this that doesn't steal flash from later matches, while still presenting high end work, is an important part of any card.


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